ASAP e-newsletter: Feb. 1, 2019
Metro-area legislators and physicians convene for dialogue on liability and professional review
Members of the Colorado General Assembly and physicians met on Jan. 30 to discuss the anticipated efforts by lawyers that sue physicians to expand the value of a lawsuit by increasing the non-economic damage cap and changing some of the protections relating to the body of law governing professional review. 

Kupersmit Research presented preliminary findings from a CMS all-member survey demonstrating that physicians strongly support protecting the confidentiality of professional review and maintaining the non-economic damage cap at its current level. The all-member survey is still in the field; CMS encourages all members to complete it if you have not yet done so. Please look for an email from CMS President Deb Parsons, MD, FACP. We will publish complete results soon. 

See photos below and read the full story on
Taj Kattapuram, MD, a Louisville radiologist, talks with Sen. Dennis Hisey (R-Colorado Springs).
Rep. Larry Liston (R-Colorado Springs), center, stands with physician members.
Sen. Joann Ginal (D-Fort Collins) addresses the audience.
Rep. Emily Sirota (D-Denver) introduces herself.
Sen. Bob Gardner (R-Colorado Springs), center, asks questions of the physicians at his table.
Pollster Benjamin Kupersmit presents preliminary data from the latest all-member survey.
Gov. Jared Polis establishes health-costs office
As promised in his State of the State address on Jan. 10, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis signed the second executive order of his office, effectively creating the new Office of Saving People Money on Health Care. The goal of the Office, led by Lt. Gov. Dianne Primavera, is to study, identify and implement policies that will lower health care costs while ensuring all Coloradans have access to affordable, quality care. Anticipating public push back on health care costs, the CMS board of directors established the Special Work Group on Health Care Costs and Quality. CMS is poised to fully cooperate with the Office of Saving People Money on Health Care.

AMA, CMS and Manatt Health release study of Colorado’s efforts to reverse opioid epidemic
The American Medical Association, Colorado Medical Society and Manatt Health released a report that shows Colorado has implemented meaningful reforms in response to the opioid epidemic, though further steps are needed to save even more lives. The Colorado spotlight analysis found that progress is being made to increase access to evidence-based treatment for substance use disorders, several pilot projects have improved care for patients with pain, and increased access to the opioid overdose-reversing drug naloxone has resulted in thousands of lives saved. 

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Physician education: Take the CDC opioid training modules
Help stop the growing number of drug overdose deaths in the United States. Take the final three modules in a health care provider training series from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Applying CDC’s Guideline for Prescribing Opioids. Each module includes clinical scenarios, knowledge feedback prompts, and a resource library to help enhance learning: Opioid Use and Pregnancy, Motivational Interviewing, and Fostering Collaborative Patient-Provider Relationships in Pain Management and Opioid Prescribing. View additional modules on the Interactive Training Series webpage. The modules offer free continuing education.
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Push pays off: DORA changes licensing application questions at urging of CMS and medical schools
Following the urging of the Colorado Medical Society Medical Student Section (MSS), both of Colorado’s medical schools, CPHP and others, the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) has changed questions on the physician professional licensing application regarding mental health and substance use disorders to focus on conduct and behaviors, rather than diagnosis. The revised application went live on Jan. 16 and DORA is in the process of updating the applications for other professions.

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CMS submits comments on DOI bulletin regarding virtual credit cards
CMS President Deb Parsons, MD, FACP, submitted comments to Insurance Commissioner Mike Conway on Draft Revised Bulletin B-6.3 - Claims Settlement Payments Via Pre-paid Debit or Stored Value Cards to clarify how such cards may be used by insurance carriers. “We would respectfully ask that you add the use of Virtual Credit Cards (VCC) to the bulletin. The difference being a VCC is not a physical card, rather the insurer provides the physician with electronic credit card information that the practice is intended to process as any other credit card transaction,” Parsons wrote in the letter. “The use of a VCC should be in accordance with the protections outlined in the bulletin.”

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Cybersecurity webinar series, Feb. 6 and 8
With the recent release of Health Industry Cybersecurity Practices (HICP): Managing Threats and Protecting Patients, the 405(d) initiative has announced the first HICP engagement: HICP Fireside Chat Series. The Fireside Chat is a conversational-based webinar on the Health Industry Cybersecurity Practices (HICP): Managing Threats and Protecting Patients publication and its supporting materials. The speakers will discuss the process of collaborating with industry to identify the 5 Threats currently facing the health care industry and the 10 Practices which can help mitigate them.

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Register for CIVHC Connect: Caring and Preparing for Serious Illness in Colorado - Feb. 22
Join CIVHC on Feb. 22 at History Colorado for an interactive day focused on caring and planning for serious illness. Serious illness will affect everyone, either personally or through loved ones, at some point. Preparation and knowledge of the nuts and bolts can provide comfort in a scary situation. There are also ways physicians and other health care staff can improve the system to support those going through serious illness. This event includes a panel discussion on guiding patients through advance care planning. View the full agenda here.